COVID-19 may lead to high blood pressure

  • New research shows that infection with the Corona virus (Covid-19) may lead to the development of high blood pressure.
  • The researchers found that Covid-19 infection had a much greater association with high blood pressure than influenza.
  • Experts explain the results of the study.

Unfortunately for many, a COVID-19 The effects of infection do not end with a negative coronavirus test. With new variants like EG.5 (codenamed “Iris” And 2.86 (aka “Perola”) (nicknamed “Pirola”), staying up to date with the latest coronavirus research can be beneficial for staying healthy. Experts are still learning about the effects long covidAnd now, research shows that infection with the coronavirus (COVID-19) may cause a long-term rise in blood pressure, or hypertension.

Study published in Hypertensiona journal of the American Heart Association (AHA), investigated the development and risk factors associated with persistent high blood pressure in people with COVID-19 infection compared to influenza, also known as influenza.

The researchers analyzed health data from electronic medical records at the Montefiore Health System in Bronx, New York, which serves a large, racially and ethnically diverse population. The researchers looked at 45,398 people with COVID-19 (hospitalized between March 1, 2020 and February 20, 2022) and 13,864 people with influenza. without COVID-19 (who were hospitalized between January 2018 and February 20, 2022) and who returned to the hospital system for any medical reasons during a median follow-up period of six months.

The analysis found that 21% of people hospitalized with COVID-19 had high blood pressure, compared to 11% of those who were. no hospitalized due to COVID-19, according to New release. Meanwhile, 16% of people hospitalized with influenza developed high blood pressure, and only 4% of those with influenza but no In hospital advanced hypertension.

The researchers also found that people who were hospitalized with COVID-19 were more than twice as likely to have persistent high blood pressure, and those who were not hospitalized were 1.5 times more likely, compared to both groups of people with influenza (hospitalized and not hospitalized). the hospital).

Finally, the study found that those most at risk of developing high blood pressure were those with SARS-CoV-2 infection who were over 40 years old, black adults, or those with pre-existing conditions (such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, coronary artery disease). ). kidney disease or chronic kidney disease). Persistent high blood pressure was also more common among people with SARS-CoV-2 who were treated with blood pressure lowering and anti-inflammatory drugs, both known to raise blood pressure, during the pandemic.

How can COVID-19 affect my blood pressure?

He says that COVID-19 is an endothelial disease Jane Morgan, MD, a cardiologist and clinical director of the Covid task force at Piedmont Health Care in Atlanta, Georgia. “In other words, it negatively affects the lining of veins and arteries, which increases your risk of developing blood clots,” she says. Therefore, Dr. Morgan says it should come as no surprise that it also affects blood pressure.

In addition to cardiovascular stress and respiratory impairment, inflammation, pandemic stress and decreased physical activity can contribute to new persistent hypertension in individuals without a history of high blood pressure, he says. Tim Kyu Dong, Ph.Dthe study’s senior investigator and an AHA volunteer.

From a public health perspective, a slightly higher blood pressure in the population could mean an increased number of complications associated with high blood pressure, such as stroke, heart disease, and kidney disease, Dong notes. “These findings should raise awareness for screening patients at risk of post-COVID-19 hypertension,” he says.

Why are people more likely to have high blood pressure after contracting COVID-19 than the flu?

Duong says we don’t know exactly what causes an increased susceptibility to new-onset hypertension in patients with COVID-19 compared to the flu. “We speculate that SARS-CoV-2 could stimulate the hormone system in the body that keeps our blood pressure regulated, which could lead to high blood pressure,” he notes.

Dong adds that Covid is also a more serious disease in general, compared to influenza, and affects significantly more people, especially early in the epidemic and before vaccines are available.

Does vaccination make people less likely to develop high blood pressure due to COVID-19?

Although it has not been well studied, the assumption is yes, that vaccination makes people less likely to develop high blood pressure. Vaccines “It reduces the severity of the infection,” he says. Amish A. Adalja, MDa senior research fellow at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security.

So, while it is not certain that you will not experience some of the effects of high blood pressure due to a coronavirus infection, staying up to date with vaccines and booster doses should be your best chance for treatment with less severe infection and fewer post-coronavirus complications. (Learn more about Vaccines coming this fall are here.)

Do new strains of COVID-@DIGITS affect blood pressure more than previous strains?

With the spread of new strains such as EG.5 and 2.86, it is only natural to wonder if these newer strains have the same effects as the earlier covid strains.

Dr. Morgan says the data shows that the severity of illness, including hospitalization, contributes significantly to the risk of developing high blood pressure after contracting COVID-19. “To date, the new strains of SARS-Cov-2 still cause mild disease as of the date of this publication and, therefore, would be expected to affect both transient and persistent hypertension to a lesser degree than the earlier, more virulent variants that caused it,” she says. Hospital admissions at a higher rate.

However, there is a long-term effect of the coronavirus on persistent high blood pressure, the consequences of which are still being measured, Dr. Morgan adds. “One in six patients with long-term COVID-19 will develop high blood pressure, and most of them are women,” she says.

bottom line

This study demonstrates that COVID-19 has effects on many body systems and underscores the importance of vaccination and the use of antivirals to mitigate this effect, says Dr. Adalja.

This study also highlights the need to screen patients with post-COVID-19 hypertension, especially those at risk of multiple comorbidities and/or direct risk factors for heart disease such as diabetes, high cholesterol, obesity and smoking, says this study. the study. Dr. Morgan.

It’s important to acknowledge that this study was conducted in a large academic health system in the Bronx, which serves a large racially and ethnically diverse population with a high proportion of patients of low socioeconomic status, says Dong. The Bronx was the center of SARS-CoV-2 infections early in the pandemic as well as some subsequent waves.

This data suggests that black patients with COVID-19 in the United States are more likely to develop new-onset hypertension, consistent with some of the reported health disparities associated with COVID-19, says Dong. “We believe it is important to follow these patients long-term and investigate disorders associated with high blood pressure in patients with COVID-19,” he says.

This article is accurate as of press time. However, with the rapid development of the COVID-19 pandemic and the scientific community’s understanding of the novel coronavirus, some information may have changed since it was last updated. While we aim to keep all of our stories up to date, please visit the online resources at Center for Disease Control, fromand thy Local public health department To stay informed of the latest news. Always speak to your doctor for professional medical advice.

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madeline, protectionAssociate Editor, has a history of health writing from her experience as an editorial assistant at WebMD, and from her personal research at the university. A graduate of the University of Michigan with a degree in biopsychology, cognition, and neuroscience, she helps strategize for worldwide success. protectionSocial media platforms.

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